23/08/2014 Minister Humphreys commemorates first Irish recipient of Victoria Cross during WWI
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, is today (Saturday) marking the 100th anniversary of the first time a Victoria Cross was awarded to an Irish man serving in the British Army during the First World War, at a commemorative event at Glasnevin Cemetery. The Victoria Cross is the highest military honour for valour that can be awarded to the British armed forces.
A special paving stone is being presented by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, in memory of Lt Maurice Dease, a Westmeath native who died at Mons on this day in 1914.
Announced in August 2013, the memorial stones initiative is part of the British commemorative programme to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Accepting the memorial stone from Lord Ahmad, Minister Humphreys said: ‘These stones will bring to mind the experience of a small number of individual soldiers of the First World War who were distinguished by their courage and actions. I believe that learning of their service and background will give modern generations an insight into the nature of the war. I hope that these stones will remind us not only of the bravery of the soldiers but of the tragedy of that terrible war’.
A total of 35 memorial stones will be provided by the British to be incorporated in a monument in Ireland. The first Victoria Cross commemorative paving stones are also being laid in Britain today.